Female Prowess, Tiwa Savage has opened up about her relationship with former manager and husband, Teebillz, and also challenges she faced before making it big in the Nigerian music scene.
In a recent interview with Ebuka on Bounce Radio Live, she talked about her relationship with former manager and husband, TeeBillz. She talked about how they went from being business partners to being a married couple to having a messy divorce. According to Tiwa, she met Teebillz for the first time at Timaya’s show in Los Angeles several years ago.
At that time, Tiwa was in search of an A&R person that would aid her transition to the Nigerian music industry. She sent her CV to him but she never got a response. Upon getting to the concert, she saw him again and challenged him for not getting back to her. “So one of the guys was like ‘stop going to all these American A&Rs they don’t get it, there’s this guy they call TeeBillz they have this song called Yebariba with Sauce Kid and they killed it. So I sent him my CV he was like they will call you and he never did. Then Timaya had a concert in L. A and I went,” she said.
“The guy was like that’s the guy TeeBillz and I was like he never called me back. I went up to him and I was like ‘why didn’t you call me back?’ He was like who are you and I said I am Tiwa, I sent you my CV…he called me the next day, said he liked my vocals and advised I moved back to Nigeria and I was like yeah I want to go back to Nigeria.”
Tiwa also shared her challenges while relocating to Nigeria after coming in contact with Teebillz. According to her, no one wanted to work with her at that time when she got to Nigeria. She revealed that she was rejected by the likes of Don Jazzy, Banky W, Toni Payne. “I moved back but he didn’t move back with him initially but he knew people back here so he was just like go and speak to this person so I wet to Storm records and they kind of told me no because they had Sasha. I went to Toni Payne but she was working with a lady called Zara who passed away. I went to Banky W and he said no because he was about to work with Niyola. I went to Mohits and at that time they were trying to work with Muna.”
Tiwa further spoke about how their relationship graduated from that of business to a romantic one. She recounted how she used to drop him off at the houses of different women before they started dating. “I use to drop him off at the houses of different women. I’ll be like ‘which one is this one again.’ There was a time the press were speculating that we were dating and we weren’t dating. It just happened…when you spend all day with the same person…we just grew,” she said.
“He was just someone who had my back and we would discuss everything. It started off with the nice compliments ‘you look nice’ and I’ll be like hmmm. Then I’ll go look at myself in the mirror. I started doing extra to get to impress him to get that compliment every day and I was getting it. Then I was ‘I think he likes me.’
Speaking on mixing her relationship with business, Tiwa said she felt theirs was going to be different and was convinced that they would make it work. ”You know when you are in love you are not seeing any…I was like ours is going to be different. We are going to make it work, we are in love, we are best friends. I didn’t even think about it like mixing the two,” she said.
Tiwa also opened up about her failed marriage to Teebillz and how she felt while giving her famous interview which exposed alot. “No! I wouldn’t have done it because I am a very private person. I definitely didn’t want to expose my private issues but I was also getting pressure from other people that were mentioned in there like Sid, my mum, and dad. It was almost like I was coming to clear the air for everyone that was mentioned not just myself. I have no regrets because I know how many people reached out to me after and said they found a voice to speak out about their situation because I was able to,” she said.
“If I had known I wouldn’t have ended it publicly or have it escalate to that level in front of everyone. Because this wasn’t just trending in Nigeria, it was everywhere for months. When I’ll go to events I could hear people whisper, I could see it in their eyes. A lot of people didn’t think I could get through that and still build my brand or still be here as Tiwa Savage. I had to work hard to retain some of my endorsements because I lost some.”
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